with Italy and was trying to reach behind for Trieste and CarintMa.
The former countries were already under the power of his gauleiters
and any allied subject encountered there had at the best been expelled.
The Russians^ as Lord Dunglass remarked in the House of Commons
" have never receded from the view that in this matter (of territories)
they alone are the judges, and what they have taken they will keep. . . ."
In 19413 after the signing of the Atlantic Charter^ Churchill still on the
ocean had sent an appeal to Europe., throwing out magnificent promises
and sentimental phrases. He had called on the Poles : " Foles5 the heroism
of your people standing up to cruel oppressors^ the courage of your
soldiers^ sailors and airmen shall not be forgotten. Your ceunrry shall
live again and resume its rightful part in the new organisation of Europe."
And now when the final defeat of Germany was expected within a
few days—the British Prime Minister had so little faith in his own
words regarding an independent and sovereign Poland, that all he had
to ofler these Polish csoldier35 sailors and airmen/ who had fought under
British operational command was . . . British citizenship ! It can only
be assumed therefore that these warriors were to lose their country. ...
" A very doubtful equivalent " commented the Chicago Tribune, " a
shelter in exchange for the danger of returning to New Poland. He wanted
to spare them from the experience of being under the tyranny that the
Polish people will have to suffer in silence from now on." The offer
of the Prime Minister proved more eloquent than his entire speech.
It embarrassed those to whom it was addressed and there was a feeling
among the Poles fighting alongside the British that there was something
unnatural in this offer. It rang in the ears of the Polish soldiers
to the tune of:—£ We will help you save yourselves, but you must forget
your wife and children exiled in Siberia or starving in Poland under
a perpetually existing threat of eventual deportation. . . '
One of the Polish soldiers' Daily's expressed their feelings in simple
" We can fully appreciate the proposition (the British Prime Minister's
proposition to admit us to British citizenship) and its political significance.
The British Empire is prepared to extend to the Poles its most precious
" If each of us was fighting for his own ends, perhaps he would have found
in British citizenship the satisfaction of his life's needs. However, we are
fighting for the life of Poland. In this war we have lost much in the
common cause^ and have been deprived of much; but two things remain^
Polish citizenship and pride that we are members of a nation whose great
qualities have shone out during this war., perhaps as never before in all its
thousand years of history.
" There is no price, nothing which can replace or recompense us for these
two valuable possessions. We have one aim,, the true independence of
our country and the true liberation of our nationa to whom we are the more
bound because it is unhappy, ruined^ threatened and misunderstood. We
cannot and will not abandon our nation in its distress. The struggle for
its freedom is still our duty."